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Never mind the atmosphere: it's all about the price

By Dong Fangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2015-05-23 06:59

Never mind the atmosphere: it's all about the price

Greenshell mussels from New Zealand.[Photo provided To China Daily]

Diners can help themselves to the lobsters from what the restaurant calls a "lobster mountain" and take them to the chefs for cooking, with different flavors to choose from: numbing spicy "ma la" flavor, or grilled with cheese, or steamed with shredded garlic and vermicelli or just the original flavor.

Shrimps are ready to eat. We were impressed by their sweetness and the extremely springy, firm meat in what otherwise looked like regular shrimps. They were far superior to the ones I usually find in supermarkets.

Wang said the shrimps are from the company's shrimp farm in Thailand that boasts of having a good feeding environment with slightly salty water. They are cooked in Thailand when freshly caught, then transported to China, are cooled, and ready to eat.

"It's a better way to retain the texture and sweetness when they are cooked in their freshest state instead of being brought to China raw and then cooked," Wang said. There is also unlimited big-eye tuna sashimi. The big-eye is a sought-after tuna variety, and different from yellow-fin tuna. Bigeye's extra fat provides a buttery flavor and supple texture.

Instead of having a bright cherry-red flesh, it is lighter, a kind of lollipop-pink. But color is not necessarily a sure-fire way of gauging freshness because some tunais said to be artificially colored by pumping it with carbon monoxide.

Yet its pleasant smell, firm texture, and good taste all testified to the freshness.

Salmon was also substantial, and sliced about one centimeter thick, which is uncommon, especially at an unlimited buffet at such a price. Wang said that to run a good restaurant one must have a certain attitude, returning to the base of his culinary philosophy again and again.

"I believe chefs have a divine task. The raw material they are dealing with is akin to flora and fauna. Their ability to restore it to its original state determines whether what ends up on the plate is an exquisite delicacy or merely junk food."

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